Miami blasts Appalachian State 16-1 in Game 2 for series win

Freshman third baseman Yohandy Morales bats during Miami's 16-1 win over Appalachian State on May 8 at Mark Light Field. Photo credit: Tessa Mortensen
Freshman third baseman Yohandy Morales bats during Miami's 16-1 win over Appalachian State on May 8 at Mark Light Field.
Freshman third baseman Yohandy Morales bats during Miami's 16-1 win over Appalachian State on May 8 at Mark Light Field. Photo credit: Tessa Mortensen

Hurricanes right-handed pitcher Jake Smith took the mound against Appalachian State on Saturday hoping to help lead his team to its first series win in three weeks.

After having garnered his first win as a Hurricane versus Florida Gulf Coast on April 27, the junior college transfer picked up where he left off, striking out six batters while allowing only two hits.

Backing him up was a lineup that came out swinging, as Miami (26-15, 15-14 Atlantic Coast Conference) sparked a 10-run second inning to run away with the ball game 16-1 at Mark Light Field.

“Always happy to win but I feel a little better tonight than I did yesterday, I just didn’t think we played really well,” Miami coach Gino DiMare said. “The obvious is swinging the bat, scoring a lot of runs, having the big inning, and we hit some balls really hard. We hit some home runs but probably hit three or four balls that would have gone out if the wind wasn’t blowing dead in like it was from right field.”

Junior designated hitter Raymond Gil led off the bottom of the second with a double off the wall, as freshman catcher Carlos Perez hit an RBI double to right field to give Miami a quick 2-0 lead.

“When you see that type of offense, you’re just waiting for your next type of at-bat,” second baseman Anthony Vilar said. “I know me and Raymond, they said it at the end of the game, got two hits in the same inning. That’s what we want to do, we just want to keep hitting especially when everyone’s hitting like that.”

Despite hitting .164 on the season, center fielder Tony Jenkins added an RBI infield single early in the second to score Perez.

Vilar, who reached .309 at the plate having gone 3-for-5, began his productive evening and gave the Hurricanes a 4-0 lead with an RBI single up the middle to score Perez, as the lead continued to mount with additional RBI hits.

After cycling through the order, the Miami native wrapped the frame with a two-RBI single to right field, a seeing-eye single that pushed the team into double digits at 10-0.

Appalachian State coach Kermit Smith signaled for a pitching change with still two outs remaining in the second. Right-hander Trey Tujetsch completed his brief start having allowed eight hits, seven earned runs, and four walks.

A payoff-pitch strikeout from Smith sent the Mountaineers down in order, though a quieter bottom of the fourth awaited the hot-hitting Hurricanes. Vilar’s sacrifice fly to center field remained the only run scored, as third baseman Yohandy Morales then popped out to second base.

After allowing a one-out single to Appalachian State center fielder Alex Leshock, Smith retired the next two batters on two groundouts and was then lifted.

The offensive fireworks continued in the bottom of the fifth, nonetheless.

Redshirt junior left fielder Christian Del Castillo blasted a two-run home run to balloon Miami’s advantage to 13-0.

Filling in for Adrian Del Castillo in right field, freshman Jared Thomas increased the spread to 15-0 with a two-run shot of his own for his second as a Hurricane.

With the Mountaineers bullpen essentially out of options, Miami pounced once more to close out the three-run sixth frame.

Freshman first baseman CJ Kayfus belted a solo home run into right field, leaving the yard for the fourth time of the season as Miami tallied its final run.

“Happy with the way that we swung the bat, it was good to get a lot of guys in there to play that haven’t had a chance,” DiMare said. “That always is good for the team, for the morale, the guys that have been playing, cheering for the guys that haven’t and have been working hard.”

Surrendering only one hit in the sixth was sophomore reliever Anthony Arguelles, who maintained his 4-0 record out of the bullpen. Redshirt sophomore transfer Jordan Dubberly then maintained the momentum, despite allowing an RBI single to Appalachian State catcher Carson Arnold in the seventh.